So before we conclude our series with a final verse and proper summary post, I want to look at another word in the bible in which we could switch out for “stand firm”.
Steadfast according to Merriam- Webster is defined as, “fixed, immovable, firm in belief, determination or adherence.”
Knowing what we know about “standing firm, I think it is safe to say that steadfast and stand firm could be interchangeable.
Do you agree? Let’s look at a couple verses and change “steadfast” to “stand firm” just to see if it changes the meaning.
3 You will keep in perfect peace
those whose minds stand firm
because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:3
10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a stand firm
steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10
26 Give careful thought to the[a] paths for your feet
and stand firm
steadfast in all your ways. Proverbs 4:26
So we’ve talked about how standing firm requires faith, but I love how in Isaiah we see that standing firm also requires trust.
We’ve talked about how we need to stand strong and be on guard, but a stand firm spirit is a spirit of strength and determination.
We’ve talked about how we need to know what to stand firm in, but in this verse it emphasizes to think carefully before standing firm.
By using a different word, we glean additional understanding.
Let’s do the same thing with two other words, “patient” and “long suffering.”
12 Be joyful in hope, long suffering
patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12
2 Be completely humble and gentle; be long suffering
patient, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:2
29 Whoever is long suffering
patient has great understanding,
but one who is quick-tempered displays folly. Proverbs 14:29
9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is long suffering
patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9
Can you glean any additional knowledge or understanding from the verses above?
This is going to sounds really weird, but I promise I have a point here. The idea of using words that differ slightly in connotation reminds me of how ice cream flavors differ in taste depending on what brand you buy.
Let’s take two of my favorite flavors, Cookies n Cream and Mint Chocolate Chip. They are common flavors that you can find in the frozen food section of the grocery store. In fact, you can find several different brands of the same flavor. Eddy’s Breyer’s, (even the good old Kroger brand). While each brand has a similar flavor, they don’t taste exactly the same.
And so it is with God’s word. Not every version reads the same. Sometimes we need to change out a word for a similar one to enhance our meaning and understanding.
What other words can you think of to do this with? I’d love to hear some ideas below!